By Marianne Curtis
A group of RM of Ste. Anne residents are demanding their municipality reconsider not renewing a fire agreement between their municipality and the RM of La Broquerie before disaster strikes.
Frank Bachinski, an RM of Ste. Anne farmer is one of many area residents that are concerned about how their homes are now at greater risk after the RM of Ste. Anne decided not to renew a fire agreement with the RM of La Broquerie.
“I personally live approximately six miles from the la Broquerie fire hall and close to seventeen miles from the responding fire hall in Richer but in an emergency situation time is of the essence,” stated Bachinski.
He added that it will take an extra thirty minutes for fire response now that the agreement has expired, and will cost him 20 to 30 per cent more on his insurance.
On December 15, the RM of Ste. Anne decided that they would not renew the contract with the RM of La Broquerie due to costs associated with the service. The La Broquerie fire department has serviced the lower 27 sections of the south east corner of the RM of St. Anne for the last 36 years. The RM of La Broquerie has never charged the RM of Ste. Anne a coverage fee but kept the rates on a “per call” basis. Under the new agreement that was rejected by the RM of La Broquerie, Ste. Anne was asked to pay $7,500 a year plus per call rates to respond in this area.
RM of La Broquerie reeve Claude Lussier says that his council is more than ready to meeting with Ste. Anne to renegotiate.
“We never broke the ties with Ste. Anne – our negotiating channels are completely open and I think Ste. Anne will be considering the position we have and are looking at it very seriously,” stated Lussier. “I think we will reach an agreement – there is a lot of pressure on Ste. Anne.”
Despite the fact the inter-municipal agreement expired December 31, the RM of La Broquerie is still prepared to send in their crews in the event that they are needed.
“It would be ludicrous on our part to say that because our agreement expired we wouldn’t be there to help them,” assured Lussier.
The residents continue to appeal to the RM of Ste. Anne on this matter.
“This decision was made in haste without consideration for human life,” Bachinski added.